Police in China have stepped up patrols against gangs and organised crime in response to a brutal attack on several women at a barbecue restaurant in the country’s north.
- The group of women were attacked after one woman rejected a man’s advances at a barbecue restaurant
- The incident has become one of the most discussed topics on Chinese social media
- Police in China have stepped up patrols in response to the violence
Warning: the following story contains descriptions and imagery of a graphic nature.
CCTV footage from the restaurant showed a man making advances on a woman in the group in Tangshan, northern Hebei province, which the woman rebuffed several times.
A violent brawl involving other men ensued.
Vision of the incident online triggered outrage on Chinese social media site Weibo, where it became one of the most discussed topics.
Officials in Tangshan launched anti-crime campaign “Thunderstorm” in response to the attack, to target fighting and other criminal activity faster, according to the Global Times, a state-run nationalistic tabloid.
The two-week campaign will target crimes ranging from fighting and “insulting women” to extortion, gambling and cybercrimes.
State media said cities in Hebei province, Shanxi province, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and Gansu province have also launched “summer night patrol special operations” at night markets, shopping malls and barbecue stalls.
After the assault, more Tangshan residents have reportedly contacted local authorities with more reports about organised crime.
A woman with the last name Zhang came forward on Saturday claiming she was harassed, beaten, abused, threatened, intimidated and unlawfully detained between May 23 and 24 by a gang in Tangshan, according to the Global Times.
Five suspects had a criminal history, local police say
Nine suspects were reportedly arrested following the brawl, including seven men and two women.
No charges have been laid yet but investigations are ongoing.
Xing Tao, deputy head of the Lubei branch of Tangshan Public Security Bureau, told local media that five suspects had criminal records of “causing troubles, illegal detention of others and intentional injury”.
CCTV footage from the street outside the restaurant shows one of the men dragging a woman by the hair outside the restaurant and kicking her.
Images of the woman lying on a stretcher bloodied and with swollen face went viral online.
Two women sustained non-life-threatening injuries and were in a stable condition receiving treatment in hospital, according to authorities.
Chinese internet users criticised the slow action of police and bystanders, gender-based violence and rampant criminal gangs in the city.
“They must be punished severely!!!” one Weibo user said.
Investigations into the Tangshan restaurant assault will be conducted by officers from Langfang Public Security Bureau, also in Hebei.
Ren Jianming, a professor of public administration at the Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, told Singaporean Chinese-language newspaper Zaobao that the investigation conducted by officers from another city might suggest the integrity of local officers could be in question.
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